Foreign press are held up at the entrance of the press box because of a Very Important (no, Really) meeting of the British Association of Rowing Journalists between 11.15 and 12 o'clock. We may enter now.
12:00 [PR] M. van Eupen - S. Balmary
At Fawley both are sculling at 29, Balmary is leading by 2.5 lengths, time 4min11. Not particularly fast weather today and quite cloudy after bright sunshine earlier today. Passing Remenham, both at 28 but Balmary surged away to a lead of more than 6 lengths. She wins it easily. Van Eupen does seem to have done everything in her power, she's exhausted.
12:10 [Fawley] King's School, Parramatta, AUS - Sydney R.C. & Mosman R.C., AUS
Funny stuff to be racing your countrymen 8000 miles from home. Well, good for them. King's lead by 2/3 length and reach the Barrier in 1min57. Passing Fawley in 3min18, maintaining a lead of almost a length, rates dropping to 31 and 35 for Sydney & Mosman. King's is taking it a notch up and increase the length to 1 length.
12:20 [Britannia] York City R.C. - Army R.C.
To the Barrier 2min05 for York, up 1/4 length rating 37, Army 35. Army are coming back to within a few feet at Fawley and draw level a while later. Rating is exactly reversed now. Army charging away to 1/2 length lead. At the mile it's gone to a length, still rating high, 37 and 36. Army win and do the loudest cheer of the day, that's certain already.
12:30 [Wyfold] Marlow R.C. - Thames R.C. 'A'
Both crews have been warned for steering, Thames took 1/3 length between the island and the 1/4 mile. Still rating 38 at the Barrier in 1min57, both warned again. Now Thames is moving away to 1.5 lengths. Keeping the rate 2 higher than Marlow pays off, 2 lengths at Fawley. Three at Remenham Club, looks like decided win. Thames is moving dangerously close to Marlow's station. They're really right in front of them now! No flag is going up, very strange. Thames win by 2 or 3 lengths.
12:40 [QM] Club France, FRA - Commercial & Offaly, IRL
The French national crew takes a length at the end of the island. Barrier time 1min52 and Commercial & Awfully are more than 5 lengths down. While that was only 3 seconds slower than the record, France can afford to let up and are 10sec behind record time at Fawley. The announcer calls it "comfortably", Liz thinks that's cruel. Easy win for France.
12:50 [Temple] Cornell University, USA - Oxford Brookes University 'A'
Half length lead for OxBrookes at the end of the island, both rating 37/38. Cornell is keeping the rate up, determined to reel them in. They're succeeding for a short while around the quarter mile but OxBrookes are back to 1/2 length at the Barrier. At Fawley, OxBrookes drop to 36, Cornell 35, 1/2 length and 3min07. Same situation passing Remenham Club. Now Cornell is really pushing rating higher and higher, closing to almost canvas! OxBrookes are able to respond, both at 38. OxBrookes take it by 1/3 length. They're still screaming and shouting 5 minutes later.
Lunch already, it's a short day of racing. See you in a bite!
2:30 [Diamonds] M. Drysdale - C.M. Palmer
There is very little wind and it's across to against, so maybe not another attempt by Mah-hay to break the record to the Barrier or Fawley even. I wonder how Palmer prepared for this race, mentally. Beforehand, these two considerations seem to contain all the excitement for this race.At the end of the island Drysdale rates 45 and is half a length up on Palmer sculling at 44. Quarter mile, the reigning world champion down to 31 and leads by 2 lengths. Barrier time 2min16, 3 lengths for the phlegmatic Kiwi. It's staying that way with rates of 30 and 33. Fawley time 3min51 and 5 lengths, rates down to 28 and 31. They both know how the rest of this race will unfold. 25 v 31 near the Regatta Enclosure, still 5 lengths. Drysdale picks it up for the appreciative crowd and wins easily.
3:20 [Ladies] Leander Club & Molesey B.C. - Princeton University, USA
Great race, Princeton really overpowered Leander/Molesey. Six of the Princeton guys win their 2nd Henley medal after the Temple 2 years back. See my photo report from the launch (that's the umpire's boat, folks).
That's all folks, I'm off to catch my flight. The big Stewards' race between GBR and NED isn't going to happen because Hodgy's a bit under the weather. I don't think they'd risk a chance of losing to their main challengers for Worlds (and Beijing?).
Henley's been absolutely great. It my first time over, I knew two lane racing butd I'm very impressed by the whole organization. I would especially like to thank the girls from the press office. Who are lovely. And sunny.
Cheerio! See you at Eton.